This November I’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo – The National Novel Writing Month. Mitch Berg and Michele of A Small Victory are also participating, as well as others.

Basically, I’ll be writing at least 1,300 words a day to reach 50,000 by the end of the month. This is in addition to work, looking for more work, and blogging. So, I’ll be taking it easy in the comments section, which means that if you’re trying to dissect one of my arguments and I don’t provide a response it’s because I just don’t have the time. I’ll still be monitoring comments however, so don’t think this will let the trolls off the hook.

As for posting segments of the novel, I’m doubting I’ll do that. I’d rather leave that sort of writing without a net to the professionals. I may change my mind if things continue to go well, and if the end result doesn’t stink like a crate of lutefisk left in a steamroom, I may make the novel available in some form or another.

As I’m sure you’re dying to know the plot by now, it involves bioterrorism, secret Russian biowarfare experiments, and Iraq. The plot is, as they say, “ripped from today’s headlines,” although I hate that phrase with a passion. Think of it as a kind of Tom Clancyesque thriller except not as suitable for use as boat anchor or doorstop.

Now back to work, I want to see if I can hit 3000 words before the end of the day…

15 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo

  1. National Novel-Writing Month? Hmm, if I didn’t have a thesis on the origin of Nietzsche’s concept of will in Fichte and Schopenhauer to finish, not to mention a pile of Mirror articles to write, a few other research papers, a political campaign to explore, an RPG game to run, and a girl to keep happy, I’d probably participate, I’ve had a few ideas going through my head lately. Then again, my screenplay for “Razorblade Hummingbird” isn’t done yet- first things first… 🙂

  2. Hey, I’ll do it too. I started the prologue of my novel last night. (Didn’t write 1300 words, though.) Guess that means I’ll have to put down the Orson Scott Card books, though…

  3. I am also participating in NaNoWriMo! Really, after going to Barnes and Noble and seeing such postmodern brilliance as “Lipstick: A Novel” passed off as legitimate literature I thought “why not balance this vile, morally reprehensible truly shitty prose with my only mediocrely subpar prose.” I believe that last clause is should properly attest to its absolute crapitude. Anyway, enjoy the dictional grind and good luck!

  4. What, you don’t like vile, morally reprehensible shitty prose?

    Guess you’re not a Palahniuk fan… 🙂

  5. Haha–no, I say “Chuck” Palahniuk (whomp whomp). For vile, morally reprehensible, shitty prose, it’s “Anthem” all the way. Of course, if I just want vile, morally reprehensible shit, Noam Chomsky will always do 🙂

  6. Hmmm… I’ve got a copy of Anthem sitting on my shelf that I haven’t bothered to read yet… after finally managing to slog through all of Atlas Shrugged during my summer break, I think I’ve had enough Rand for about the next decade or so… 🙂

  7. Isn’t Norm Chomsky a linguist?

    You guys should read more genre literature. I’ve forsworn authors who refuse to pigeonhole their books into a recognizable genre. I’ll take Neil Stephenson any day of the week over any author you guys care to name. 🙂

  8. Haha–well, if you finished Atlas Shrugged, you don’t need Anthem. Anthem is like the Cliff’s Notes for Intellectually Crippled Dummies for Atlas Shrugged.

    As for Noam Chomsky, yeah I suppose he is more of a linguist. Ironically enough though, truth is a negligible detail when it comes to condemning Noam Chomsky.

    I haven’t read any Neil Stephenson–any suggestions? I need something to distract me from hw besides hours of Family Guy (not that there’s anything wrong with that …).

  9. Neal Stephenson is a great writer, regardless of genre… and, despite the fact that he’s in the Sci-Fi section, he really can’t be pidgeonholed into the genre anymore.

    Kate: All his books are great… but I’d avoid Quicksilver until you’ve read some of his other work. It’s just too damn long. 🙂

  10. “Snow Crash” is the book that made him famous, and it’s about an afternoon’s read, and really good. “Zodiac” is a fun book, though not regarded as his best – it’s the “Eco-Thriller”, as it’s billed. “Cryptonomicon” is long and involved, but I’d say it’s Stephenson at his least cyber-punk, which is to say that it’s still a little cyber-punk.

    I haven’t read Quicksilver yet, but I will when it’s out in paperback. Right now I’m meandering through Card’s “Ender’s Game” books.

  11. Stevenson’s first book is fabulous, too. It’s called “The Big U” and is a pretty scathing look at profit-driven higher education in America. Also, he occasionally writes with his uncle under the pseudonym of Steven Bury (a combination of their last names), including a wonderful POLITICAL NOVEL called “Interface.”

    “Cryptonomicon” is a prerequisite for “Quicksilver,” and I’d recommend at least trying to tackle “The Diamond Age, or A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer” before hitting “Cryptonomicon.” “The Diamond Age” was the first of his that I read and is probably the most intricate of his sci-fi.

    AND HE WRITES NONFICTION! Check out “In the Beginning was the Command Line” for an amazingly good look at the history of personal computing and the ways it affects our daily lives (he says, while typing on a blog…).

    It’s so much fun to be able to talk Neal with people! Thanks, Jay!

  12. Jay is actually the guy who introduced me to Stephenson… I remember sitting in study hall, my sophomore year of high school, flipping through his copy of Snow Crash, cheesing out as I read the part where the pirates “listened to Reason”… 🙂

    The Big U is the only Stephenson I haven’t read, and I’ve heard mixed reviews of it. Zodiac was very good, and piqued my interest in environmental activism… but it was no Snow Crash, Diamond Age, or Cryptonomicon. Those are the books that have written Stephenson’s name in the hallowed halls of sci-fi sainthood. Quicksilver, on the other hand, strikes me as just really fatty icing on a delicious cake- but I’m only halfway through it, and there are two more equally thick sequels on the way. (!?!)

  13. Stephenson is probably one of my favorite authors, and his nonfiction is as good as his fiction. I still have yet to start on Quicksilver, and I’ll probably have to wait ’til NaNoWriMo is done before even thinking about starting it.

    Never read his earlier stuff other than Interface. Snow Crash is one of the best modern sci-fi novels ever and is a hoot to read, and The Diamond Age has a bit more serious tone, but is still very well crafted. Cryptonomicon is a great technothriller and goes fast for such a huge book.

    And anyone who wants to understand the philosophy of computer operating systems should rush to read In The Beginning Was The Command Line – even if you don’t, it’s still one of the best explanations of why Linux and open source are so valuable I’ve ever seen.

  14. Yeah, I forgot to mention ItBWtCL- great essay.

    But if you’re really going to tackle Quicksilver, you’d better not start on it until you’re done with your novel. It takes forever to read, and really drags near the middle- the pacing is definitely not as good as Cryptonomicon (which absolutely blazed for a book that large).

  15. The biggest criticism of “Cryptonomicon” I’ve ever heard is that there’s just too much math thrown in the middle. Fortunately, it isn’t that crucial to the plot for those that don’t want to deal with it. For those that do, though, the depth of the writing is easily as impressive as the Librarian’s talk on Mesopotamian history and culture in “Snow Crash.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.